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Two Way Talk: Significance of Juneteenth

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Conversation with Larry S. Gibson, law professor, lawyer, political organizer, and historian.

Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free.

For generations, Black Americans have recognized the end of one of history’s darkest chapters with joy, in the form of parades, street festivals, musical performances or cookouts.

It was the day when a Union officer reached Galveston, Texas and announced their liberation. It would take another century and a half and lots of rallying for the U.S. government to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

There’s a push today for people to see beyond the revelry and learn about Juneteenth’s history.

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